San Diego County, San Diego Rat Control Situation:
Hi David, Is a UV blacklight still useful, exterior-wise, if it rains after the rodents leave their urine stains? I am in the process of performing exterior maintenance to better exclude my roof rats. 1) I have a 25 year old cedar shake roof in San Diego California with openings under each shake along the rake edge of the roof at the gable ends of my house. There's no drip edge, i.e. under the shakes I have roofing paper (now somewhat curled) that runs more or less up to and rests right atop the fascia board. Because I have skip sheathing, and since the cross section of a shake is a wedge that is up to one inch at the upper, thick end, this appears to create many huge entry points along the rake edges even though the sheathing is rabbeted into the fascia board. As a result, I'm thinking of getting a UV blacklight to use outside the house to sleuth for urine stains along the upper edge of the gable end shakes and fascia boards. My question is, how easily does the winter rain wash away the urine, rendering this a pointless exercise? 2) I noticed a new product called "rat-out gel" and was thinking of applying it along the rake edges mentioned above. Or, maybe I should just buy many rolls of X-Clude and use that instead. Or maybe both. Any comment? Thanks very much for your website, Doug
My response: First off, I do not have experience using UV lights to detect rat urine. But I do suspect that rain will severely limit the effectiveness of this approach. I have never heard of Rat-Out Gel or XClude, but I typically stick to physical barriers rather than repellent type devices. If your roof makes this impossible, you might have a tough time keeping the rats out.
San Diego Rat Control Tip of The Week
Are Rats Smart Animals?
Rats can be trained:
In studies on rats, it's been very easy to train these animals. Scientists have worked with rats to help teach them how to get through mazes, play fetch, train them to dismantle complex items to get a reward, and more.
Rats stick together:
Rats have high levels of emotional intelligence and they often communicate well with one another to warn each other of threats. In a borough of rats, each will work together to make sure that everyone can stay safe. With communications through their squeaks and noises as well as through pheromones it's possible for rats to continually relay information about the surrounding environment and work together to survive.
They have been shown to have personalities:
In observed behavior some rats are considered to be social, others are entertaining and some are fun-loving wanting to play with objects they find like toys. Each rat can have its own tendencies and display their own levels of intelligence.
Rats are social animals:
Rats live in groups and this makes them very social animals. Even though rats typically sleep 12-15 hours a day, they are social during the time that they are awake.
They can recognize each other and come when called:
Rats can be trained to recognize names, they can come when called and they can often tell more about rats and their behavior by watching them. Rats display recognition that goes far beyond what the average animal conveys.
Rats can smell and find their way into many spaces:
Rats have the power to make their way into many spaces. They are often some of the perfect creatures for making their way into your plumbing and they regularly travel through cracks and areas across the home to find food. They are tenacious creatures and they can be considered very smart when finding food.